The Masterpiece

In preparation for our move to Georgia next month, I’ve been cleaning out my attic…getting rid of items we haven’t used, needed, or looked at in years. Other than some precious items attached to memories of my son, I intended to stick to my strict discarding rule. In my sorting, I came across this old picture. As I stared at the picture, it was almost as if I stepped aboard a time machine.

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I’m eight or nine years old and I’m watching my mom sort through a closet. She’s making a pile filled with items intended for the thrift store. I spot the masterpiece.

You’re not getting rid of that, are you?


You can’t get rid of that!  That’s a great picture!  It’s dogs playing poker! Can I have it?


I grab the picture, happily carry it back to my bedroom, and find a perfect spot on my wall to hang it. Since my childhood, the picture has moved all over the country with me.  When I left for college, it made the 80 mile trip with me. Everywhere I’ve moved since then, the picture has accompanied me.  Yet never once has the picture ever made it back onto a wall.

As I stood there in my attic, I thought about my cleaning rule for the day.  Get rid of things you haven’t used, needed, or looked at in years.  I placed the picture in the thrift store box and moved on.

It wasn’t until I carried the boxes downstairs and placed them in the trunk of my car that I began to have some doubts about my decision.

One silly picture.
A memory of my mom from thirty plus years ago.
One silly picture.
A memory that prompts my heart to smile anytime I think about it.
One silly picture.

Thirty years ago, I rescued a picture. The other day, I rescued a picture again.

This one silly picture will be coming to Georgia with us.

I would loved to hear about silly items you have held onto over the years.  Share in the comments. 

7 thoughts on “The Masterpiece

  1. Joy Lenton

    Clearing out is therapeutic but some things have a way of sneaking into our hearts and lives that are hard to part with. I’m sentimental and hang on to pretty much everything (as my bulging at the seams home can testify) so I fully understand your reluctance to part with the picture. It is far more than an image you once liked. Memories and nostalgia are woven into its very fabric. I was secretly hoping you would say, “Yes” to holding on to it and breathed a huge sigh of relief when you did! There may even be a physical spot it can inhabit in your new home. Every blessing with the move. 🙂 xx

    1. Eileen Post author

      Beautifully said, Joy. Another friend reminded me that maybe we would have a game room in our next home. It would go well there!

  2. Carol Peterson

    If this is an oil painting of one of the 16 originals by C. M. Coolidge, then your masterpiece may actually be quite valuable.

    That said, I love throwing things out but quite often have temporary regret later. Temporary because generally the feeling of relief over not having the “stuff” weigh me down is greater than the feeling of loss.

    Keep going (but check the value of the painting)

    1. Eileen Post author

      I don’t know, Carol…there’s a price sticker on the back of the frame…looks like it was a Kmart special 🙂 But maybe that’s only the frame…hmm. 🙂

  3. David Rupert

    I cleaned out my mother’s items too and got rid of lots of things that there was just no way I was taking back. But she had a similiar picture of a really backwards looking doofus guy saying, “Who me?” that we all laughed at for years. And I even had a voice that I emulated. I kept that one too.

    1. Eileen Post author

      That’s great, David! Too bad blog comments don’t have audio…I would love to hear the voice. 🙂

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